However, Donald Ballock was subsequently forced to take refuge on his Antrim estate. Even there he was not free from the royal vengeance and it is hard to tell what would have happened except for the ready wit of his friend, the Irish Chief Hugh Buy O'Neill, who, with grim humor, presented the Scottish King with a human head which the credulous King James received as that of the rebel Lord of Dunnyveg. Donald Ballock remained on the Irish estates until after the death of King James in 1437, when he returned to Dunnyveg. Donald Ballock died at Islay toward the end of 1476 at an advanced age.
Donald Ballock had married first Johanna, daughter of Conn O'Neill, by whom he had his only son, John Mor, who was his successor.